Monday, May 03, 2010

R12: How to come to grips with the real you

Coming to grips with the real you is the theme of the next relationship: sober in self assessment. Ironically this was the theme of a men's retreat I attended this weekend. There, the example was given of Jacob, wrestling with God and being given a new name. To get to that point however, Jacob had to reap the consequences of his character- the deceiver had to be deceived to be humble enough to see who he really was. Only then could he be ready wrestle with God. During the struggle, he was permanently wounded, but he was rewarded for it.

God has a new name for us too (Revelation 2:17). But we often aren't willing to humbly admit who we are. We want the blessing without the pain necessary to prepare ourselves for it. But God doesn't work that way. He cannot reveal who he wants us to be if we can't see who we are. And that only comes by painfully digging to the very roots of our character. But instead we hide. We bury who we are under the front we present to the rest of the world. We do this for so long we forget who we really are so far underneath.

A week ago I posted a little introduction to myself and my blog. While that gives a simple "who am I" it doesn't reveal anything about the depth of my character. It does not describe who I am on the road to becoming who God wants me to be. At the time, it wasn't meant to deliberately hide my character or intentionally not be vulnerable. There are times and places for that. Well, this is that time.

I appreciate the openness Chip Ingram has shown as he shares about his past, his faith, and his struggles to get to where he is now. For myself, I've been through many of the same battles. Like him, I am insecure, though it shows itself in different ways. As I "wrestled with God" this weekend, my insecurities were ever before me. This isn't new. It was revealed during my recovery and I face it every day at my job and in my home. But I bury it. I don't deal with it. And it finds new ways to cripple me. I don't intend to put on a false front. And I try to not let my insecurities paralyze me in fear. But I still hold myself back. I'm not as close in my relationships as I need to be. To be blunt, I don't let anyone in. And that has prevented me from being all that God wants me to be. So I'm going to battle through this. Wrestle with God. And not let go until I receive his blessing. This chapter comes at the perfect time. Join me in this battle. Wrestle with me.

Think: What went through your mind as you read this?
Reflect: What parts of my story [or Chip's in the book] could you identify with? What aspects of your story are different?
Understand: When was the last time you thought seriously about the question, "Who am I?" What part of answering this question makes you uncomfortable? Excited? Afraid?
Surrender: Ask God to help you see yourself the way He sees you.
Take Action: Write down the top three people and events that you think have most shaped how you view yourself today.
Motivation: Watch the thirteen-minute video on R12 online titled "How to Come to Grips With the Real You" by clicking the R12 button to the right and going to the "Self Assessment" tab.
Encourage Someone: Think of someone who has a low or untrue view of themselves and share two positive character qualities you see in their life. Tell them it's an assignment for a spiritual formation project you're working on so they don't feel awkward.

Today continues our "virtual small group" covering the book Living On The Edge. For how this group is going to work, read this entry. For an introduction with disclaimers, click here. For some numbers from Barna to motivate you to continue reading, go here. For the R12 videos, click the R12 button on the sidebar to the right. Finally, as we move forward through the book you can always catch up by clicking the R12 label at the end of each post.

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